Modern slavery and human trafficking are, unfortunately, significant problems across the United States. It's common for undocumented immigrants and vulnerable people to become involved in forced work that limits their autonomy and sense of freedom.
Those who have been accused of activities relating to perpetrating human trafficking or slavery can face severe consequences under the law. Those charged with perpetrating human trafficking are often involved in drug trafficking or the sex trade. Human trafficking has also been linked to the construction industry or other workplaces where manual labor is required. If you have been accused of human trafficking, you should understand how it is defined under the law before you take further action.
The law on human trafficking and slavery
Federal laws prohibit human trafficking and slavery in the United States. The U.S. Code specifically prohibits involuntary servitude, forced labor, sex trafficking and labor trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was put into place in 2020, making it the first-ever comprehensive legislation brought about to specifically protect victims of sex trafficking.
Since 2000, additional laws have been put in place to help further protect victims of sex trafficking. For example, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 seeks to reduce the number of young people in the foster care system becoming victims of sex trafficking.
What are the common types of human trafficking and slavery?
Perhaps the most common form of human trafficking is sex trafficking. A person can be charged with the crime of sex trafficking when it is proven that they deceived, coerced or forced another to partake in the sex industry. People can become victims of sex trafficking at brothels, with escort agencies or through getting involved in prostitution.
Labor exploitation is also common. It may be that an undocumented immigrant enters the United States believing that they will be starting a job and will earn a good income. Instead, they may be manipulated into a situation where they are working for almost nothing, with the threat of punishment if they do not perform as demanded.
If you have been accused of some form of human trafficking or modern slavery in Texas, you should understand that this is a very serious situation to be in. Therefore, you should take swift action to form your defense.